It’s the new year, when you think “time flies” and then wonder how four seasons could have passed by as quickly as they did. While some people might feel blue at the thought of leaving another year behind, I’m eager to welcome a new year with open arms. There’s a lot to look forward to—spring being first and foremost—and opportunities abound for accomplishing projects and reaching goals.
Of course, the start of a new year is a time to reflect, and it’s the perfect time to make new year’s resolutions. I’ve never made formal, serious resolutions, but for the last couple of years I’ve put together lists of farming-related resolutions here on HobbyFarms.com, to inspire myself and, I hope, inspire readers. Admittedly, I’ve been somewhat hit-and-miss with my execution of these resolutions—I’ve achieved about half of them, with the rest being swallowed up by other work. But the point is not to follow these resolutions at any cost, but rather to encourage proactive thinking about farming projects we want to accomplish during the coming year while remaining flexible.
Here are my main new year’s resolutions for 2019.
1. Tackle Small Machinery Repairs
A lawn mower with one blade that doesn’t spin. A rototiller that stubbornly refuses to start. A garden tractor with a tire that keeps going flat. A few of my small machines are showing their age with issues varying in degree from mildly frustrating to downright prohibitive—you can’t use a rototiller that won’t start.
In 2019, I plan to tackle repair jobs like these head-on and get things back in working order. The lawn mower? Probably just needs a belt replaced. The flat tire? Time to install an inner tube. The rototiller? I’ll give that one my best shot, though I might need help from a more knowledgeable neighbor.
2. Learn to Use a Grindstone
Considering how much I use hand tools such as saws and pruning loppers, I would benefit from learning how to use a grindstone so I can easily sharpen my tools when they get dull. Believe it or not, I have one—it was left behind by a former farm owner, and while I’ve never tried to use it, I would love to examine it during the coming year and find out whether it still works.
3. Learn to Identify Coniferous Trees
For someone who likes trees as much as I do, I’m painfully short of knowledge when it comes to identifying certain kinds of pine, fir and spruce trees. Sure, I can point to White Pine and Red Pine easily enough, and Norway Spruce is readily recognizable, but the rest? I can give you a vague idea, but not the exact species.
Because I like to put trees to use on my farm—we even have a tractor-powered sawmill—it bothers me that I can walk right past some types of coniferous trees but can’t identify them. I know the local hardwoods well, and in 2019 I hope to improve my knowledge of the coniferous trees and take stock of the varieties growing on my farm.
4. Slow Down and Enjoy the Year
Time flies, you know? One minute spring has arrived, and then before you know it you’re tucking away machinery in preparation for winter. It’s easy to get so wrapped up in projects and productivity that an entire year passes by in the blink of an eye.
Therefore, I resolve to slow down once in a while in 2019—enjoy the seasons, enjoy the farm and appreciate the wonder of it all. Now, there’s something that should be on every list of new year’s resolutions.
Happy new year!